What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Last call for longest-serving bartender

Marketplace Staff Aug 21, 2009

Last call for longest-serving bartender

Marketplace Staff Aug 21, 2009


Steve Chiotakis: Angelo Cammarata’s been serving drinks to his customers in Pittsburgh for 77 years. The 95-year-old Camm, as his friends call him, is retiring from Cammarata’s Cafe in the next couple of weeks after a Guiness recognition as “world’s longest serving bartender.” He’s with us now to talk about it. Mr. Cammarata, good morning.

Angelo Cammarata: Good morning Steve.

Chiotakis: So, you know 77 years you’ve been doing this, what’s the best part of the job?

Cammarata: The best part of the job is meeting people and serving people and making friends. It’s all friendly. Our customers are all family members.

Chiotakis: You say you like to meet people and talk with people at the bar, was there anything else you wanted to do as a career?

Cammarata: Not really. I am fortunately, or unfortunately, I graduated high school in the midst of the Depression. Nothing was available. My dad had a grocery store. And so beer came back in ’33, and just automatically turned over into selling beer and getting rid of all the groceries.

Chiotakis: This was the lifting of prohibition?

Cammarata: The lifting of prohibition, yes. I sold my first bottle of beer two seconds after midnight on April the 7th. We had maybe 15-20 men, persons waiting outside because they knew it. And I took the first case of beer off the beer truck that had been parked in front of our business area and sold a bottle of beer for 10 cents.

Chiotakis: You’ve been selling a lot of beer since. What’s your favorite drink to make?

Cammarata: I’m not a mixologist. You make a gin and tonic, and you make uh…

Chiotakis: The simple stuff?

Cammarata: Yeah, yeah. We’re not a fancy bar, we’re not a big bar. We’re a neighborhood bar.

Chiotakis: What are you looking for in your retirement, sir?

Cammarata: Rest. Peace and rest. My wife is 92 and she doesn’t walk much, so I look after her needs. We look after each other.

Chiotakis: Well Angelo Cammarata joining us from Pittsburgh. Thank you and good luck to you sir.

Cammarata: Thank you.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.